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Church Diversity: Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week Paperback – April 5, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...there is no more important task than taking the Gospel to every member of our community regardless of the cultural differences that may exist....This is God's plan and God's desire." --Jonathan Falwell, Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA

"Whatever racial woes we face in America, they cannot be dealt with by politicians or Washington D.C., but rather by the local church....help our nation navigate through this critical and much needed conversation on race." --J.C. Watts, Jr., Former Member of Congress

"Whatever racial woes we face in America, they cannot be dealt with by politicians or Washington D.C., but rather by the local church....help our nation navigate through this critical and much needed conversation on race." --J.C. Watts, Jr., Former Member of Congress

About the Author

Scott Williams served on staff as a key leader and campus pastor for LifeChurch.tv, one of the largest and most innovative churches in America. He is an effective speaker, strategist, ministry consultant, entrepreneur and popular social media influencer for pastors and ministries around the globe. He is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com. Scott is married, a father of two, and lives in Oklahoma City, OK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892217030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892217038
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Forty-five years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr made this shocking statement:

We must face the sad fact that at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing...we stand in the most segregated hour in America.

In 2011 this is the state of things:

We live in a day and age where arguably the best rapper is white, the best golfer is black, the NBA center with the most potential was Asian, and the quarterback for America's team, the Dallas Cowboys, is Hispanic.

Has the Church just stood still? Are we really so far behind that the struggles for equality that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr went through 45 years ago mean very little? A new book by Scott Williams and published by New Leaf Publishing explores diversity in our lives and our Churches.

Even though the book isn't out until May I've had the privilege of reading through some of the chapters and I've come up with the following thoughts.

1. Scott touches on a subject that while is aimed at an American audience it applies here in the UK. Church Diversity is a huge issue and without realising it we often exclude people. If we do nothing more than include one more person as a result of reading this book we'll achieve something in the Kingdom.

2. It's biblically based. In Chapter 1 Scott looks at the early Church and how Jesus' disciples actively included a diverse range of people in what God wanted to do on the earth.

3. Scott's shares from his own journey which was split between "black" Baptist Churches and "white" Baptist Churches not to mention working for the American Prison service in rural Oklahoma. Both places where diversity could at times be scarce.

4. It's not a passive book.
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I only know Scott Williams from a distance but due to the wonders of the internet I feel like I've known him for years. He has a great story - one that continues to be written. In Church Diversity Scott shares much of his story with his readers. Central to that story are the complexities of the lack of diversity in the vast number of American churches. It is a point that is worth making and worth fighting to change.

I serve on a denominational board (Converge Worldwide) where we have worked hard to address the lack of diversity among our ranks. The makeup of our current board may be its most diverse ever. But with only one notable exception all of our upper level leaders are white males. The same holds true for regional directors. I'm also on a sub-committee that is planning our next national event. We are deeply committed to highlighting the diversity that exists in our churches throughout the event. But while this will celebrate diversity on one level it will not directly increase the diversity in our member churches. That is where Church Diversity comes in - or could.

Scott Williams very intentionally and methodically pokes a stick in the eye of the church on this topic. And he doesn't just call out churches that are predominately white in their make-up. In chapter 3 Williams writes: "This is a wake-up call for the traditional ethnic churches, such as black, Indian, Asian, and Hispanic. The arguments that "we must remain separate because it's about the community" or "it's the only piece of culture that we have left" are not valid arguments. They are incongruent with who Jesus is and what the gospel is all about. Is your church preserving culture of some people or presenting the gospel to all people?
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"We must face the sad fact that at the eleven o'clock hour on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America." - Martin Luther King Jr.

It was not planned, but I finished Scott Williams' (a campus pastor for lifechurch.tv) book Church Diversity on February 3rd, near the beginning of black history month. Even more coincidentally the next book on my list, and which I just started, is John Piper's Bloodlines, a book about race and Christianity. Then, in one of my classes I presented from a chapter of a book titled Hollywood Faith, which looks specifically at Oasis Church in Los Angeles. In Church Diversity Williams uses Oasis as an example of a highly diverse church and looks at what they do to achieve diversity.

Churches are given all sorts of labels. There's the denominational label, Baptist, Reformed, Non-Denominational, and Roman Catholic. We label based on clothing, whether the dress code is formal or informal. We also label churches based on their racial majority. Many churches will be referred to as a "Black Church" or a "Vietnamese Church." Some churches even indicate such in their name, such as Vietnamese Baptist Church. In his book, Williams urges the church to break down the walls which inhibit diversity.

Williams looks to the Great Commission which urges the making of disciples of all nations. As Williams writes, the church should be about Christ and the Gospel, not about ethnicity. He urges churches to be proactive and offers many steps they can take to work towards diversity. Among the things he recommends is having the church officially recognize Martin Luther King Day. He also recommends that churches strive to bring diversity to their worship and leadership teams.
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